Rwanda: Rukumbeli - About 800 Genocide Victims Recovered in Lake Shoreside

15 September 2020

Since the beginning of the year, 791 bodies of the victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi have been recovered in the buffer zone of Lake Mugesera, in Rukumbeli Sector, Ngoma District.

Particularly from August 26 to Sep. 14, at least 547 bodies were recovered from the shores, and the daily search is still ongoing.

Jean-Pierre Musafiri, Ibuka president in Ngoma District said that the first body of Genocide victim was found by a child who was tending to goats, who then showed it to an older person.

"It is just a few metres from Lake Mugesera, which is located between Ngoma and Rwamagana districts. That land was owned by genocide perpetrators and leaders at the time," he told The New Times.

Although it may not be easy to recognize a body of family member lost 26 years ago, recovering victims of the genocide is a "great" relief for survivors, according to Musafiri.

"At least you say, maybe he or she is among those I am according to a decent burial they deserve," he described.

None of the recovered bodies were given a decent burial since the beginning of 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

More than 40,000 Tutsis killed during the 1994 Genocide were laid to rest inside Rukumbeli Genocide memorial site.

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